Brazil to Double Air Fleet in Ambitious $10.6 Billion Investment

Brazil is launching a substantial $10.6 billion investment in military research, development, and equipment acquisition. This initiative, part of the Growth Acceleration Program (PAC), includes doubling the Gripen fighter fleet and other key projects.

The PAC program, reintroduced by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, aims to spend 1.7 trillion reals on various initiatives, emphasizing defense. However, it doesn’t require legislative approval, relying on government resources, state contributions, and private sector concessions.

Challenges include bureaucracy and financial constraints. Success depends on fiscal capacity and economic growth.

The plan for the Brazilian Air Force involves acquiring 34 F-39 Gripen fighters, nearly doubling the current fleet. Brazil signed a $5.04 billion contract with Saab for 36 fighters, with four more added in 2022. Brazil has received six fighters, with assembly of 15 F-39E Gripens happening at Embraer’s São Paulo factory.

Defense Minister José Mucio Monteiro Filho highlighted the importance of renewing the fighter aviation fleet and enhancing air defense capabilities.

Other projects include purchasing nine C-390 Millennium planes from Embraer and developing a refueling version. The C-390 holds potential for military and humanitarian roles, including public emergencies and firefighting.

Additionally, the plan involves converting two Airbus A330 aircraft into aeromedical and aerial refueling planes.

Brazil’s investment signifies its commitment to modernizing its military and bolstering its regional security and humanitarian capabilities.

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